Friday, November 25, 2011
I hope you had a happy Turkey Day. Be safe over the holidays!
Saturday, November 19, 2011
I have been in many places, but I've never been in Cahoots. Apparently, you can't go alone. You have to be in Cahoots with someone.
I've also never been in Cognito. I hear no one recognizes you there.
I have, however, been in Sane. They don't have an airport; you have to be driven there. I have made several trips there, thanks to my friends and family.
I would like to go to Conclusions, but you have to jump, and I'm not too much on physical activity anymore.
I have also been in Doubt. That is a sad place to go, and I try not to visit there too often.
I've been in Flexible, but only when it was very important to stand firm.
Sometimes I'm in Capable, and I go there more often as I'm getting older.
One of my favorite places to be is in Suspense! It really gets the adrenaline flowing and pumps up the old heart! At my age I need all the stimulus I can get!
And, sometimes I think I am in Vincible but life shows me I am not!
I have been in Deepshit many times; in fact the older I get, the longer I stay because I feel so much at home there.
Monday, November 14, 2011
Some of these camellias are 12 feet or taller! This is Yule Tide by the maple tree. See the power line running thru it?
As you can see, by now, most of my camellias are more like small trees. This last one is Yule Tide again. It is also more than 12 feet across. I know it needs to be cut back, but I so hate doing that. Yule Tide was a gift from my friend Sabra, more than 20 years ago.
Yesterday, I was taking a short walk around the place with my camera noticing all the beautiful color combinations for this time of year. Yes, they will change soon. It is windy this morning and the leaves are falling as I type this. But let me share a bit of My Little Corner of the World with you today.
The berries are plentiful this year. That is supposed to mean another rough winter. We shall see.
And! Look carefully, a baby zucchini! See it?
Sunday, November 13, 2011
PRE-ELECTION EXAM: 60 QUESTIONS FOR EVERY CANDIDATE
NO VOTES WILL BE CAST FOR ANY CANDIDATE, FOR ANY OFFICE, WITHOUT COMPLETION OF THIS EXAM. INSTEAD OF PUBLIC DEBATES, WHERE EVERYONE CAN POSTURE AND BELLOW, LET’S HAVE EVERY CANDIDATE PROVIDE WRITTEN ANSWERS TO THE FOLLOWING 60 QUESTIONS, PUBLISH THE RESULTS (OR READ THEM ON TV AND RADIO), THEN HAVE VOTERS DECIDE.
1. IF JOB CREATION RESTS SO HEAVILY UPON THE PRIVATE SECTOR, WHY ARE CORPORATE PROFITS AT ALL TIME HIGHS BUT JOBS ARE STILL SCARCE?
2. IF REGULATIONS ARE STIFLING THE PRIVATE SECTOR, WHY ARE CORPORATE PROFITS AT ALL TIME HIGHS?
3. WE HAVE A NAVY THAT IS LARGER THAN THE NEXT 13 NAVIES IN THE WORLD, COMBINED, AND 11 OF THOSE ARE OUR ALLIES. WHY DO WE NEED TO KEEP INCREASING THE MILITARY BUDGET?
4. WHY ARE WE STILL ALLOWING MILLION DOLLAR BONUSES FOR WALL STREET EXECUTIVES?
5. WHY ARE WE COMPLAINING ABOUT GAS PRICES WHEN VIRTUALLY EVERY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD IS PAYING TWO TO THREE TIMES AS MUCH AS WE PAY?
6. HAVE YOU EVER READ THE BOOK “THE TYRANNY OF DEAD IDEAS”?
7. WHY DO YOU THINK WE ARE OVER-TAXED WHEN ONLY THREE DEVELOPED COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD PAY LESS TAXES THAN WE DO IN THE U.S.?
8. WHY, WITH SUPERIOR RECORDS FOR HEALTH CARE (WITH THE EXCEPTION OF BREAST AND PRSOTATE CANCER), ARE ALL THE OTHER DEVELOPED COUNTRIES WRONG TO HAVE COMPULSORY, UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE WHILE WE REJECT THIS?
9. DO YOU THINK IT IS A GOOD IDEA TO HAVE ONE-THIRD OF OUR HEALTH CARE DOLLARS GO TO PROFIT-MAKING INSURANCE COMPANIES, INSTEAD OF HEALTH CARE?
10. DO YOU HAVE ANY CONCEPT – OR EVEN KNOW ABOUT – BENJAMIN FRANKLIN’S CONCEPT OF SOCIAL BENEVOLENCE?
11. DO YOU APPROVE OF TORTURE?
12. DO YOU THINK IT IS A GOOD THING THAT GENERAL ELECTRIC PAID NO TAXES AT ALL LAST YEAR? WOULD YOU CHANGE THAT? HOW?
13. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT RADICAL MUSLIMS HATE THE U.S. BECAUSE (1) THEY RESENT OUR FREEDOMS, OR (2) BECAUSE WE HAVE MILITARY IN THEIR HOMELANDS?
14. DO YOU BELIEVE THE AMERICAN WORKER HAS THE RIGHT TO BARGAIN COLLECTIVELY?
15. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT AN ASSEMBLY LINE WORKER, OR TEACHER, SHOULD PAY SOCIAL SECURITY TAXES ON 100% OF THEIR EARNINGS WHILE A CORPORATE CEO OR NFL QUARTERBACK SHOULD ONLY PAY SOCIAL SECURITY TAXES ON 1-5% OF THER EARNINGS?
16. IF YOU ANSWERED YES TO THE QUESTION ABOVE, WHY?
17. DO YOU KNOW THE DIFFERNCE BETWEEN SOCIAL SECURITY AND PERSONAL SECURITY?
18. DO YOU THINK YOU KNOW MORE ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING THAN THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES? IF YOU ANSWERED YES, EXPLAIN WHY?
19. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT SEXUAL ORIENTATION IS A SOCIALLY CAUSED PHENOMENON, OR A BIOLOGICALLY CAUSED PHENOMENON? DO YOU HAVE ANY EVIDENCE FOR YOU ANSWER?
20. WHY, IF EVERY STUDY EVER CONDUCTED SHOWS THAT IT IS NOT A DETERENT TO CRIME, SHOULD WE CONTINUE TO SUPPORT CAPITAL PUNISHMENT?
21. WHAT CHARACTERISTICS MAKES A COUNTRY GREAT?
22. IF THE PENTAGON CLAIMED THAT A MILITARY BASE IN YOUR HOME STATE WAS NO LONGER NECESSARY FOR THE DEFENSE OF THE COUNTRY, WOULD YOU ARGUE TO KEEP IT OPEN? IF YOU ANSWERED YES, EXPLAIN WHY YOU THINK YOU KNOW MORE THAN THE PENTAGON ABOUT NATIONAL DEFENSE.
23. THE DISPARITY IN INCOME IS AT AN ALL TIME HIGH IN THE U.S. HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THIS? DOES IT CONCERN YOU?
25. ISRAEL BEGAN AS A NATION WHEN IT SEIZED – WITHOUT ANY FORCE OF LAW – LAND FROM 600,000 PALESTINANS. WOULD IT MAKE YOU ANGRY IF SOUTHERN BAPTISTS TOOK FLORIDA FOR THEMSELVES BECAUSE OF SOME RELIGIOUS BELIEF THAT FLORIDA BELONGED TO THEM?
26. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT IF THE U.S. ENTERS INTO ARMED CONFLICT, THERE SHOULD BE A DRAFT? WHATEVER YOUR ANSWER, EXPLAIN IT?
27. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT IF THE U.S. ENTERS INTO ARMED CONFLICT, TAXES SHOULD BE INCREASED TO PAY FOR THAT CONFLICT? WHATEVER YOUR ANSWER, EXPLAIN IT.
28. DO YOU BELIEVE THE U.S. SHOULD TAX CORPORATIONS MORE IF THEY MOVE JOBS OVERSEAS? IF YOU ANSWERED NO, EXPLAIN WHY.
29. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT WE SHOULD HAVE NATIONAL STANDARDS IN TERMS OF EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS?
30. DO YOU BELIEVE THE PATRIOT ACT IS CONSTITUTIONAL?
31. CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHY, IF CORPORATE PROFITS ARE AT ALL TIME HIGHS, PERSONAL WAGES HAVE DECLINED (WITH THE EXCEPTION OF CEOS)?
32. DO YOU BELIEVE OIL IS AN INFINITE RESOURCE?
33. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT POPULATION GROWTH IS A MAJOR THREAT TO THE SURVIVAL OF THE U.S. AS WELL AS THE REST OF THE WORLD?
34. DO YOU BELIEVE IN THE FREE MARKET?
35. DO YOU BELIEVE WE SHOULD CONTINUE AGRICULTURAL SUBSIDIES?
36. IF YOUR ANSWERS TO 34 AND 35 WERE DIFFERENT, JUSTIFY THAT.
37. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT THOSE WHO LIVE IN FREE SOCIETIES ALSO MUST RISK MORE DANGERS THAN THOSE WHO LIVE IN REPRESSIVE COUNTRIES BUT WHO HAVE MORE SECURITY?
38. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT, WITH REGARD TO POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS, CORPORATIONS ARE THE SAME A “CITIZENS”?
39. THE SECOND AMENDMENT PROTECTS OUR RIGHT TO OWN FIREARMS. HOWEVER, WE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO OWN MACHINE GUNS, FLAME THROWERS, CANNONS, OR HAND GRENADES. WHY ARE WE ALLOWED TO OWN ASSAULT RIFLES?
40. DO YOU HAVE CONCERN OVER DWIGHT EISENHOWER’S WARNING ABOUT THE “MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX”? DO YOU THINK HE WAS CORRECT?
41. DO YOU BELIEVE IT IS JUSTIFIABLE TO VIOLATE INTERNATIONAL LAW IF THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE U.S. ARE AT STAKE?
42. DO YOU BELIEVE IT IS JUSTIFIABLE FOR THE CITIZEN TO VIOLATE NATIONAL LAWS IF THE ACT IS IN THEIR BEST INTEREST?
43. DO YOU BELIEVE IT IS WRONG FOR THE U.S. TO APOLOGIZE FOR PAST TRANSGRESSIONS OF INTERNATIONAL LAW AND/OR SUPPORT OF TYRANTS WHO ABUSED HUMAN RIGHTS?
44. DO YOU BELIEVE IN THE RULE OF THE MAJORITY, OR THE FILIBUSTER? EXPLAIN YOUR ANSWER.
45. SHOULD RELIGION PLAY A ROLE IN THE SELECTION OF CANDIDATES? WHY?
46. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT ISSUES SUCH AS ABORTION, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, OR CONTRACEPTION SHOULD BE POLITICAL ISSUES? WHY?
47. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT THE U. S. IS AN EMPIRE?
48. DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE FORCES AND EVENTS THAT LED TO THE DECLINE OF GREAT NATIONS OVER HISTORY? CAN YOU IDENTIFY THEM?
49. WHAT SUGGESTIONS DO YOU HAVE TO ELIMINATE, OR AT LEAST REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF MONEY NECESSARY FOR POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS?
50. CAN YOU RATIONALIZE THE FACT THAT ONE IN SIX AMERICANS IS NOW AT THE POVERTY LEVEL AND THAT WE KEEP REPEATING THAT AMERICA IS THE GREATEST NATION ON EARTH?
51. SHOULD A PERSON MAKING $500,000 A YEAR PAY THE SAME TAX RATE AS ONE MAKING $35,000 A YEAR?
52. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS ARE REALLY THE RESULTS OF LEGISLATIVE FAILURE? JUSTIFY YOUR ANSWER.
53. SHOULD ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES BE SUBJECT TO THE SAME LAWS/REGULATIONS AS EVERYONE ELSE?
54. HOW WOULD YOU REACT TO A CONGRESSIONAL REGULATION – OR EVEN A LAW - THAT PROHIBITED AMENDMENTS OR RIDERS THAT ARE UNRELATED TO THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THE BILL?
55. DO YOU BELIEVE CLASS WARFARE IS A REALITY IN THE U.S.? IF YOUR ANSWER WAS YES, WHAT SHOULD WE DO ABOUT THAT?
56. OF THE LAST 12 PRESIDENTS, CAN YOU NAME THE TWO WHO RAISED THE NATIONAL DEBT THE MOST DURING THEIR TERMS?
57. WHERE DOES EDUCATION RANK IN NATIONAL PRIORITIES FOR YOU? PROVIDE A NUMBER AND IDENTIFY THE PRIORITIES THAT ARE HIGHER THAN EDUCATION.
58. WHY DO YOU BELIEVE THAT THE U. S. INVADED IRAQ?
59. CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHAT IS HAPPENING IN VIET NAM TODAY – AN OFFICIAL TRADE PARTNER - THAT WAS WORTH 58,000 AMERICAN LIVES TO PREVENT?
60. WHICH IS MORE VITAL TO AMERICA’S SECURITY, A STRONG MILITARY OR A STRONG EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM? JUSTIFY YOUR ANSWER.